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red wine

Drop the Elitist Attitude but Keep the Wine Slang

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Drop the Elitist Attitude but Keep the Wine Slang

If you ask us, wine is about connection and celebration. We gather and toast accomplishments, unwind from long days with close friends and gift it to show our gratitude for the ones we love. But hold up, then why is it wine is also associated with pretentious behavior and an elitist attitude? One of the big problems we see is wine language

Wine is about connection and celebration.

In our effort to keep wine a pleasurable experience for all, we bring you a breakdown of common wine slang starting the series with a free glossary of terms to help you navigate the basics of tasting wine.  Ok, time to breakdown the BS!

SWEETNESS:

Wine’s sweetness comes from residual sugar (RS) that stays in the wine after the alcohol is created during fermentation. Typically, sugar is not added to wine to make it sweeter. There can be any level of sugar remaining from bone-dry (dry meaning no sugar) to super sweet.  

ACIDITY:

Andrea McBride holding red wine grapes

Acidity is what makes lemons sour and your mouth water, but it’s also what makes wines racy, vibrant and refreshing!  The acids in the grapes determine the level of acidity you detect in the wine. It’s presence is necessary to balance the overall taste, especially of sweet wines.

TANNINS: 

Andrea McBride holding red wine grapes skins at the vineyard.

Tannins are found in red wines and come mostly from the skins of red wine grapes.  You have to think of tannins as more of a feeling than a flavor. High tannins can feel mouth-drying or gritty and can create a bitter sensation in the back of your mouth. Wines that are high in tannins are also usually served with food.  Softer tannins can give richness and body to the wine.

ALCOHOL:

Higher alcohol wine will have more of a “burn” as it goes over the back of your tongue. We refer to this feel as a wine being HOT! Sweeter wines (more residual sugar) tend to have lower alcohol content. 

BALANCE:  

Robin McBride drinking well balanced wine.

 

A wine is considered well-balanced when all of these characteristics are in harmony and do not overpower each other. It may be the last on our list, but this feeling is exactly what we seek when we are tasting wine! 

 

Have a #wine related question for us? Leave us a comment and check back every #WineTipTuesday on Instagram and Twitter

 

 

 

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To Decant Or Not To Decant Red Wine…And For How Long?

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To Decant Or Not To Decant Red Wine…And For How Long?

Do you notice when you open a bottle of red wine and pour a glass, the wine gets better over time, especially the second glass (not a trick question!)? You start to notice the wine smells better, the fruit flavors become pronounced and the tannins are softer? That’s because the wine has “opened up” due to the increased contact with the air. Decanting introduces oxygen, which releases aromas and flavors in all red wine.

So how long should you decant wine?

Most tannic red wines will take about 2-3 hours and typically last 12–18 hours after being decanted.

Red Wines

  • · Zinfandel: 30 minutes
  • · Pinot Noir: 30 minutes
  • · Malbec: 1 hour
  • · Grenache Blend: 1 hour
  • · Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot: 2 hours
  • · Petite Sirah: 2 hours
  • · Tempranillo: 2 hours
  • · Sangiovese: 2 hours
  • · Syrah/Shiraz: 2–3 hours
  • · Nebbiolo: 3+ hours

DO NOT DECANT 20+ YEAR OLD RED WINE!

Chances are you probably dropped some serious dough for an 20+ year old, dry, bottle of red wine. These types of  wines show best decanted immediately before serving. If you wait to long, all the amazing aromas and flavors would have disappeared!

What happens if you decant a wine for too long?

High levels of acetic acid (the same acid found in vinegar) increases and a repugnant, vinegar-like smell then emerges, which is a very good indicator that the wine has gone bad.

Trick of the trade: You don’t need to spend top dollar on your house party wines. Decant the cheap bottles of red before your guests come over, we promise you they will taste double the price you paid!  

 

 

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6 Common Myths About Wine

Truvée Red Blend

Truvée Red Blend

Does expensive mean better? I heard that sweet wines are for rookies? With so many common misconceptions going around, it’s hard to decipher between fact and fiction these days. Because unquestioned truths can hinder a person from exploring a world of new wines, let’s take a moment to debunk some of these ridiculous myths.

1. Starting with; Blended Wines Are Not As Good As Non-Blended Wines. Well, we can certainly tell you first-hand that this one is definitely a myth. Sure the obvious choice for most people is to go with a single grape wine, but there are Blends that are just as exciting. Some people prefer a mix of their favorite wines as opposed to drinking one on its own. Blends are definitely worth exploring. Try our Truvée Red Blend, a mixture of Grenache, Syrah, Merlot and Zinfandel, and see just what we mean.

Opus One is an example of another Red Blend 

Opus One is an example of another Red Blend 

2. Another common misconception is that Expensive Wines Are Better Wines. Truth is, the price of wine is influenced by many factors other than quality, such as location, image, supply and demand, just to name a few. Besides, everyone has a different palate, so go for what YOU like.

3. Sweet Wines Are For Beginners, Not Educated Palates. Actually, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Some of the greatest wines in the world are sweet, flavorful and ageworthy, and appeal to a large majority of seasoned drinkers.

4. Did you know that Only Red Wine Has Health Benefits? No? Good, because this one isn’t true either. Although red wine does have more health benefits, mainly due to the antioxidants and phytochemicals in the grape skins, both red and white wines are linked to a decrease in heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

5. You should always Serve Red Wine at Room Temperature. Well, this really depends on what room temperature is. Most red wine is best served between 57-65ºF (14-18°C) depending on grape variety.

6. And the last misconception on our list is that Wine Sealed With a Cork Is Better than wine sealed with a screw cap. Actually, screwcapped wines age just as well as corked wines, but the reason so many wineries have yet to make the transition is simply because they’re concerned with their wine being perceived as cheap.

Missed any myths you’d like to debunk? Let us know … Sound off.

Robin + Andrea

 

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